And That Was… February 2024

You might have noticed we have had a little break from the And That Was… series – don’t worry, it wasn’t for any other reason than the need for a well-earned rest after a busy 2023! We have been working into 2024 and some things just had to have a bit of a back seat (we are a small team after all!). We are stoked to welcome And That Was… back for 2024 – after all, it is our favourite way to celebrate all things street related – from street art big and small, graffiti, events, experiences and everything in between. So, let’s kick off the first And That Was… for 2024 with the following selections!

The Spiderverse appears in New Brighton

Let’s begin with a FSPPT, a THWAP, a KAPOW and THWIP! The revolving rear wall of the old Couplands Building in New Brighton got a Summer make-over with this spectacular production by DTR crew members Ikarus, Dcypher and the crew’s newest member Drows. With traditional pieces in gold, purples and pinks by Ikarus (L) and Drows (R), the wall was built around the Spiderman Spiderverse imagery by Dcypher – unified by a smoky, atmospheric backdrop, blocks of comic book panel details and shattered stone. This is most definitely NOT the Madame Web of graffiti productions.

Farewell to a few old friends…

While we normally celebrate the new and fresh, it is also worth acknowledging those things we have seen disappear – sometimes painfully in full view. February saw the demolition of a number of familiar murals across central Otautahi – FinDAC’s Kaitiaki and TELMO MIEL’s Hector’s Dive, both on the exterior of the Hereford Street YMCA building, and Jacob Yikes’ Blue painting on the carpark at the rear of the old Rydges Hotel building overlooking Cathedral Square. Of course, losing such works is inevitable, but still sad – the important thing is to ensure we see new works appear in their place…

A tribute to Mahsa Amini

Completed in February, Kophie Su’a-Hulsbosch’s mural depicting Iranian woman Mahsa Amini has added a powerful message to the hoarding wall outside the Arts Centre on Worcester Boulevard. With the portrait centred in front of poppy flowers (symbolic of matyrdom and Iran) and the words Woman, Life and Freedom either side, the work is pays tribute to Amini, who lost her life while detained by Iranian police for not wearing a hijab in public. The mural was produced with Dr Hero Modares of the Kia Ora Academy and members of the local Iranian community, with support from the Christchurch City Council and ChristchurchNZ.

BOXed Quarter action…

We were stoked to see a selection of talented artists add some new pieces to the panels of St Asaph Street’s BOXed Quarter in February. Nick Lowry, Dcypher, Masked Artist, Morks, Dove, Hambone and PK all created works on the 3m x 3m square surfaces, bringing a fresh vibe to an area filled with impressive works! To check out more of the creations, get down to the BOXed Quarter and wander through – just a warning though, you will probably want to grab a bite to eat from one (or more) of the awesome eateries inside… (Image: Hambone (bottom) and Morks (top) at the BOXed Quarter)

Jen_Heads’ Bisan Owda

The city has been awash with art and messages calling for ceasefire in Gaza – illustrating the important role of public space to share and confront social issues – in this case, ensuring the world does not forget about the harrowing and horrific situation in Palestine. One of the most striking pieces is Jen_Head’s portrait paste-up of Palestinian journalist and filmmaker Bisan Owda reporting from Gaza, accompanied by images of her social media posts from the ground, a reminder of the realities of the situation…

And that’s our list for February – what would you add? Let us know…

Author: Reuben Woods

Reuben is an art historian, writer and curator. His PhD thesis explored graffiti and street art within post-earthquake Christchurch. He also serves as creative director and lead tour guide for Watch This Space.

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